Friday, November 22, 2013

The LASER Obsession Continues...

"Meh" cut from a vinyl record
Art/photo by beckybutton

We’ve done it before.  We’ve started with less.  And we’re doing it again.  Let’s get a LASER cutter for the hackspace!  We’re going to do this much the same way we raised money for our 3D printer.  This time, we've got the technical skills to save us a lot of money on our end goal.

Instead of raising $1600 dollars for a finished product, we can now simply raise $850 to buy the materials to build a complete CNC LASER cutter. Check it out here.  We will build this with these plans, this stage, the seasoned EE knowledge of Jesse, and a $400 laser.  Both he and I believe the project can be completed under $800.  Our goal is to hit $850 to cover the costs of shipping and maybe some silly extra tools if we need them (like metric Allen wrenches).  Thanks to Jeff at Action TrackChair, We already have $300 and we've JUST started campaigning.

Last time, we raised $650 in the first four months!  We were well on our way to getting our 3D printer when Lulzbot simply gave us one for our efforts and excitement. Here is the results chart we used for the 3D printer.  We hope to have the money to do this by September of next year.  If you think you can pledge the money to make this happen, send a check to 302 N. Last Chance Gulch STE #340  Helena MT 59601.  You can also pledge with Paypal or credit card by going to and clicking the “Donate” button in the lower right-hand corner of the site.  We have created a separate account for this project.  We will probably have the funds to build this before September.  If we don’t, we’ll refund your money.  We would use Kickstarter for this project… but it goes against their policy and i don’t mind doing the work for the extra 5% fee.  We can do a Kickstarter for creative inventions.

Now we are working to get the funds for a LASER cutter.  Here are some cool things you can make with a LASERcutter:

More importantly: The cost of laser cutting is roughly equal to the cost of the material being cut +15cents an hour of cutting.  The cost of 3D printing is between $8-$15 a pound.

Shout back your support of this project so we can start building a funding ladder to our goal!  How much would you be willing to chip in to see a LASER cutter at MEH?  How interested are you in helping us campaign for funding?  How would you use a LASER cutter?

I’ll send this out to ~700 people towards the end of this month.  If you see typos or would like to reword parts of it, get me the revisions by the 25th.  If you would like to help out by some other means, contact me with your solutions; I will do my best to route you to other passionate minds.  Our hackspace continues to grow in its capacity to help find talent, equipment, and space for you and your projects.  Soon we will have a CNC LASER cutter to further that purpose.

I had a hard time finding a laser. This really isn't my area of expertise. I was finding prices between $1000 and $2000. Jesse found some better pricing for the laser: 

China $200 + free shipping

USA $269 + shipping

We are over a third of the way already! Action TrackChair has donated $300 to our cause.  They make electric wheelchairs with powerful off-road treads.  I'm sure we will use this device for interesting and useful things.
You can now check out our funding chart at 
This link­

Friday, July 12, 2013

Sugru Night!

Swing on by the hackspace on the 18th of July for some free fun with a new material!  We're located at the north end of the walking mall at 302 N. Last Chance Gulch.  Call 406-992-1599 for entry!

Sugru acts like play dough and then hardens to a soft rubber.  This has thousands of applications.  You can see just a few of these applications here.  We have been graciously extended a sponsorship from Instructables to see this in action.

Instructables has been a superb powerhouse of sponsorship opportunities for top quality hackerspaces in the past.

Monday, June 17, 2013

Check out TinkerCAD and 123D. Get your shape printed for free! is sponsoring ANOTHER Open House at MEH!  Stop by our open hack night on the 20th of June(this Thursday) at 7PM to make a cool 3D gadget, necklace, earrings, figurine, toy, part, machine, or whatever!  If your creation gets the most votes, MEH will use Shapeways credits to have it Professionally 3D printed on a $30,000 3D printer! We'll get you your physical object within a month of the polls closing!  All entries must be made in one of the two 3D designers:

Tinker CAD

and AutoDesk's  123D  Studio
Stop on by this Thursday(June 20th) at 7PM to explore 3D printing through 123D and TinkerCAD!

We are in the US Bank Building downtown.
302 N. Last Chance Gulch

Suite #340
Helena MT, 59601

The two most popular designs will get professionally printed by Shapeways and then shipped to us!  

Call our office Skype phone at 992-1599 for entry

Friday, May 3, 2013

10 instructables from us equals 1 super tool from them!

Do you want a fricken laser shark? Do you? Well here's your chance!

  • If we post 10 high-quality Instructables we can get a 3D printer, Laser Cutter, CNC Machine, Industrial Sewing Machine, or Electronics Kit for our space.  Projects don’t have to be made as a group. Individual projects can be included towards the sponsorship.
  • As an added incentive to get people to post new Instructables to count towards MEH sponsorship, we will offer 1 free month of membership for EVERY instructable that is accepted towards sponsoring MEH a wild toy. If you have the most instructables accepted, you get to choose the toy!

Sunday, January 13, 2013

3D Printer

Wow.  It's surprising how many pageviews we get!  I guess I should update the blog more.  Here's our Twitter if you want to catch up.  We keep it pretty up to date.

, the guys who sell top-end rep-raps(3d Printers) have practically given us a 3D Printer to keep!  We'll be dragging it around the state when the roads clear up.  It's a $1,725 piece of epic machinery!  We recieved a 95.36% discount on an AO-100 3D printer!  We're making lots of stuff in Blender with it, including:
1)  A replacement for broken network cable tabs.
2)  D&D figurines

3)  LOTR rings for completion of our Trip to Mordor
4)  Solenoid key track for our door lock(no picture yet)

But first we have to make a couple of other things:
1)  Replacement parts for 3D printer(currently printing)
2)  Extruder parts for a PET bottles to filament machine.

Here is what we've managed to print out so far:

It's a little gear heart found at

Monday, November 19, 2012

Advanced Programming has a new Curriculum!

Advanced Programming

Very Fast Pace Skill Builder

First Lesson is FREE!

Saturdays at the downtown US Bank, 2PM! call 406-204-4226 for entry
Taught by a 3-Year Professor!

Advanced Programming

Saturday, Nov 24th, 2pm

302 North Last Chance Gulch Street

Helena, MT

At the North entrance to the Walking Mall


2PM-2:08 Slideshow of Current topic/topics
2:08-2:15 Two minute Questions
2:15-3:00 Examples of topics
3PM-4:00 Table topics or show and tell